Leader self-serving behavior has been associated with a range of adverse outcomes in the workplace. However, much remains to be explored about why and when such leader behavior emerges especially amid the pandemic. This research develops and tests a theoretical framework delineating the emotional and cognitive states that give rise to leader self-serving behavior. Specifically, we draw on uncertainty management theory to theorize that job insecurity heightens leaders’ state anxiety and self-serving cognitions, subsequently motivating leader self-serving behavior. We further argue that the overall justice of the organization effectively mitigates the indirect relationship between leader job insecurity and leader self-serving behavior via leader state anxiety and self-serving cognitions. Results from a three-wave field study involving 481 unique leader-follower dyads provide support for our hypothesized model. We discuss the implications of our findings for leadership theory and practice.
|Title of host publication||Academy of Management Proceedings|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 6 2022|